Last night the Boatress said, “did you read your sons website today?” Note, she reads his site and not mine.. More on that later. I looked at it at dinner and had one of those moments where you realize that it’s the dumb little things you do with your kids that can define them. Not yelling at them about good table manners, or sleeping to late. I wondered of all the times I did dumb things that might screw them up now. But today, I am prouder than a Peacock that he has the fever in him and is part of the Woody Boater world. Here is the story from his website. Mr Hank Smith Warning, he is very loose with explicit language, girls and is opinionated on his site. Yes I know, that just fuels your desire to read..
What Boating Means to Me. By Hank Smith
A little background, I’m considered the Boulder Bureau for my Dad’s blog, Woody Boater. I’ve been to quite a number of boating events, as well as spending a majority of my high school summers and college breaks hanging with my parents and numerous dogs on boats. With my own college graduation weeks away I was asked by a friend to reflect on my life and what specific events made me who I am today. Kinda funny actually, one of the events I talked about was going to Buffalo, NY, with my Dad in seventh grade to pick up a boat. First off, I love roadtrips and secondly, I loved getting to miss school. I remember waking up at 5am and hitting the road, we even got McDonald’s breakfast (my Dad used to love that stuff). Anyways a few hours into the drive we stopped off in New Jersey to see the SS United States, my dad’s previous obsession, which I’m sure added to his boating hobby. Skipping ahead a few hours of me listing to my iPod, we arrived in Buffalo.
The boat was a 196(?) Whirlwind, that I could pick up on my own since it was made of plywood and aluminum. It seriously felt and looked like a speeding plywood death trap. My dad told me that it was for me and my brother to be able to drive around the river with him and my mom, which was cool.
My brother and I driving around. (I’m on the right)
The first time we put the boat in the water back in Virginia, it sucked, seriously. I just sat there and listened to my Dad cuss at the engine that wouldn’t start. Hell, it even caught on fire with me driving one time. The months passed with a new Nissan engine and nothing bad happened. In fact, I got really good at dealing with all aspects of the boat, my dog Zipper even would ride around with me. Funny, the boat was even named ‘Yip-Yap’ which was Zipper’s nickname. The moral of the story was before that roadtrip to Buffalo I never really understood hobbies and having a passion. As a teenager, fads come and go, and until then, I never really connected the dots on how people could be so knowledgeable and involved with something that wasn’t taught in school. It was such a major concept that really isn’t highlighted in school. At the time I had a guitar, but just played a few songs and that was it. The trip to Buffalo and seeing how knowledgeable and interested in boats my Dad was gave me a reason to start learning about music and guitars. That started everything, I knew all the models of guitars, who used them, what they should cost, how to fix them and so on. This eventually lead to me building my own guitar.
Zipper, who looks surprisingly like Oreo
It seems like such a simple event, but it taught me to reach beyond what you are told to know, and focus on what you feel passionately about. I would be a different person if I hadn’t have been to Buffalo, because even beyond hobbies, it showed me how working hard and caring about everything you do will only make you a better person. Passion and caring is something not taught in school, but it has always made my schooling and working experience more enjoyable and brings pride with everything I do.